With as much emphasis as we place on protecting victims and preventing further victimization of others, overshadowing them always is the ever-looming “bad guy” – the nefarious pimp, who is the ultimate cause of such terror and brutal dehumanization, right?
But is he the only exploiter in the equation?
What about the ever-elusive purchaser of sex? The guy who’s soliciting a child for prostitution (which is a felony in our state), ultimately responsible for creating a demand for such exploitation to occur in the first place? Want to take a stand against the demand? Here’s your chance!
While I do not condone the severe violence, abuse, demeaning, debilitating and dehumanizing malicious behavior displayed by pimps, I ask you to consider, what may be controversial, but the high probability that a portion of these pimps are also victims of early childhood abuse (physical, emotional, sexual), neglect and trauma.
- Between four to seven children are abused or neglected every day in the United States, and as an industrialized nation, we hold one of the worst records when it comes to child abuse and neglect. (CDC, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study; Child Maltreatment, 2014)
- Children who experience child abuse and neglect are 9 times more likely to be involved in criminal activity. (Harlow, CW. Prior Abuse Reported by Inmates and Probationers. Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1999)
- 40-80% of juvenile sex offenders have themselves been victims of sexual abuse (Advances in Clinical Child Psychology, page 19 via Victims of Crime Statistics of Perpetrators of Child Sexual Abuse)
- Children who experience physical abuse or neglect early in their lives are at greater risk for committing violence against peers (particularly for boys), bullying, teen dating violence, and committing child abuse, elder abuse, intimate partner violence, and sexual violence later in life. (Connecting the Dots: An Overview of the Links Among Multiple Forms of Violence)
I’m not sure if you got hold of the recent story regarding a former Green Valley High School student turned pimp, but here it is in case you didn’t catch it or want a refresher: “Teen Faces Sex Trafficking Charges.”There’s no denying “Ray Finesse’s” involvement in turning out 3 teenage girls and exploiting them for sex with two other men, but the statement he made about not having a father really struck a chord with me – “Growing up with no father at all, that was something that I had to just think about.”
There were probably opportunities at one point or another to intervene in this young man’s life, but like he said, he got involved “with the wrong group of people at the time.”
“Youth who associate with delinquent peers or friends are at higher risk of harming others through bullying, youth violence, teen dating violence, and later in life sexual violence, and intimate partner violence.” (Connecting the Dots: An Overview of the Links Among Multiple Forms of Violence)
In response to the Dept. of Education’s call for the community to take responsibility, what could we, the community, have done to pull this young man up by his “boot straps” and out of his circumstances? How could we have stopped his trajectory of demise at one point or another in his life?
Maybe with a program like this one in Michigan?
“Youth who feel connected and committed to school are at a lower risk of harming others through dating violence, youth violence, and bullying, and are at lower risk for suicide.” (Connecting the Dots: An Overview of the Links Among Multiple Forms of Violence)
So, what can you do to still help those who are teetering on the thin line of becoming victimized or the victimizer? What role will you play?
All I have to say, is that you are wonderful and we need you – this community needs you!
January 09, 2017
November 03, 2016
October 10, 2016